succession planning

Succession Planning: Why It’s Important to Consider it Early

The Hartford

If you recently launched a small business, succession planning will probably be the farthest thing from your mind. After all, who wants to think about selling their business when they’re just getting it off the ground? However, the process of transferring ownership is a lot more complicated and time-consuming than most business owners anticipate and by not addressing all these details in advance, they run the risk of jeopardizing their retirement plans. In today’s episode, Jon Aidukonis and Gene Marks, along with Marc Cadin, CEO of Finseca, discuss several important factors that business owners need to consider during the succession planning process, if they want to ensure the integrity of both their professional and financial legacy.

Executive Summary

0:26—Today’s Topic: How Do I Prepare a Succession Plan for My Small Business?

4:18—Although most small business owners are aware of the challenges that go along with succession planning, very few have actually taken the time to consider the different components of this process, much less initiate the plan itself to see if it’s viable.

6:31—When you begin the succession planning process, there are two key components of your business that you’ll need to evaluate: its total value, including your personal net worth as well, and its operational details. Your succession plan needs to address both these issues to ensure that your successor is paying you what your business is truly worth.

9:30—If you’re trying to appraise the value of your small business on your own, you’ll need to take into account not only its total net asset value, but also its operational value.

12:38—The drawback to many small businesses is that they rarely have the brand culture or the organizational structures to survive a transfer of ownership without some diminishment in value.

14:10—Ideally, you’ll want to partner with a financial security professional who can evaluate your business holistically. They should be able to advise you on your personal plan, your business valuations, your organizational structures, and your succession plan itself.

16:52—Because working with a financial advisor requires you to share intimate details about where you are in your personal and professional life, you need to partner with someone who you genuinely trust.

17:36—Currently, the market is seeing a lot of buying and selling within the small business community.

18:36—Depending on the size of your business, it typically takes about three to six months to develop a solid succession plan. You can expect the transition process to take a minimum of five years, so it is in your best interest to start your succession planning as soon as possible.

21:28—Most small business owners fail to understand how much time and money goes into selling a business so that they can get top dollar for it.

23:58—Business owners will usually seek out a professional to help them sell their business when they’re approaching retirement age; when they’ve experienced a life-altering event; or when they no longer enjoy their work.

26:53—Financial advisors believe that the best investment a small business owner can make is in their operational rigor.

29:31—During the transfer of ownership, both the business owner and their potential successor should be prepared to make sacrifices in order to ensure a mutually beneficial outcome once the transition period is complete.

31:54—Lastly, don’t overlook the tax implications associated with selling your business. These factors need to be included in your succession plan to ensure that you get the most out of your financial legacy in the years to come.

Links

Transcript

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Gene: Hey, everybody. Welcome to another episode of Small Biz Ahead from The Hartford. My name is Gene Marks, and I’m here with my co-host, Jon Aidukonis. Jon, hello. And hello. How are you today?

Jon: Hello, Gene. Good, thanks. How are you?

Gene: Good. We are talking, Jon, today about succession planning. And I know, listen, you work for The Hartford, so there’s not that many instances where this impacts you personally.

Gene: But I’m sure you know many of The Hartford’s readers and community, a bunch of small business owners, like myself, where succession planning really hits a nerve. Both you and I have got a bunch of questions for our guest.

Jon: For sure. Yeah. I think what’s interesting too, is as many people who might be thinking about what the future holds for getting out of business, might be thinking about what the future holds for getting in. So it’d be interesting for them to be able to understand the other side of the conversation.

Gene: I like that angle a lot because we do have a lot of young entrepreneurs. They’re millennials. People talk about millennials, they think they’re that young, but millennials are on the upper end of that generation. They’re in their 30s, late 30s.

Gene: They’re looking to get into businesses and meanwhile, there’s a bunch of people looking to get out. So you’re right, there are opportunities. So joining us today is Marc Cadin. Marc is the CEO of Finseca. His website is finseca.org, F-I-N-S-E-C-A dot org. Marc, first of all, thank you very much for joining us.

Marc: Thanks for having me.

Gene: Sure. Yeah. Really glad to have you on. And I got lots of questions for you, and I know Jon does as well. But before we really get into details about it, first of all, tell us a little bit about yourself, who you are? And tell us a little bit about Finseca?

Marc: Thanks, Gene. Finseca is an organization that’s inspired by this notion of financial security for all. That’s literally how we picked the name, financial security for all. And we represent financial planners, advisors, leaders, in what we would call, the financial security space, people who do holistic planning and financial advice.

Marc: There’s a life insurance and financial security component to it, there’s a retirement security component to it. And we started this organization a couple years ago really to try to unify the profession.

Marc: There’s lots of different kinds of professionals who provide holistic financial advice and planning for their clients that could be families, individuals, business owners because we felt like there’s a better way, there’s an opportunity to deliver more and better financial advice. We get more financial security in the hands of business owners and their employees.

Marc: And my background, I’ve been running a version of this organization for the last 20-plus years. So I’ve been involved in advocacy, legislative regulatory, membership engagement, more and more talking to consumers about these topics.

Marc: So I’ve been doing this a while and I have the benefit of talking to some of the best and brightest planners out there as part of my day-to-day work. So just really appreciate it’s an important topic, and appreciate you all having me on.

Gene: Yeah. It really is an important topic. The data that comes out of the small business administration shows that more than half of small business owners in the U.S. are over the age of 50. In fact, the average age, I think, is between 55 and 60.

Gene: We’re not all like Anne Hathaway in The Intern, you know what I mean? There’s that Hollywood version of the small business owners running some hot, chic operation in Brooklyn. And then there’s guys like me who are in their 50s and bald and running their businesses, Philadelphia or Omaha or west around the country.

Gene: And we all have a succession planning issue. So let me ask you just generally about succession planning. What are you finding out there among your clients? Do they realize how important succession planning is? And can you talk to me about why it’s so important for anybody that’s running a small business right now?

Marc: The part of the beauty of running a small business and being your own boss, and having an idea and the entrepreneurial spirit to see it through, as you know, Gene, being a small business owner, that takes so much energy in order to take it from concept to creation, to execution.

Marc: And so what we find is a lot of times, small business owners are just head down. They want to focus on the day-to-day, day-to-day, day-to-day, particularly in an environment that we’re hopefully now coming out of after a couple years where, let’s be honest, it’s been really, really hard to navigate what’s essential, what’s not essential, in-person, virtual. There’s just been a lot of additional challenges over the last couple years.

Marc: So I, generally speaking, find in the small business owners that I talk to and the members of ours, those planners who help those small business owners is that most people know there’s a succession planning challenge, but haven’t taken the time to really think about what are the different pieces that go into an effective small business succession plan.

Marc: And then they certainly haven’t taken that next step, which is ultimately what has to happen, executing a plan over a period of time to make sure this beautiful thing that we’ve created, this small business continues past the life of the founding entrepreneur. So I just think there’s a lot of work that has to be done to do this successfully.

Gene: You mentioned about the pieces that need to be thought about for a succession plan. And you can’t see me right now, but let me just paint a picture. I’m young and I’m spry, healthy, very good-looking, plan on running my business for many, many years from now.

Gene: But listen, I’ve got to think about the future. I’ve got to put those pieces in place. So if we were talking together and I was your client, what pieces should I be putting together to make sure that I am providing for a good plan of succession in the years to come?

Marc: I think the number one thing, the number one bit of advice that I would give, Gene, and I can tell by the sound of your voice about how good-looking you are. So that’s obvious.

Gene: You can pick it up.

Marc: You didn’t have to say it, but I appreciate the validation.

Gene: Of course.

Marc: But the number one pieces, the recognition that most small business owners have, their value, their net worth is tied up in their business. They may have a house, they may have some other investible assets, but most of their assets are tied up in the business. And so the personal planning for the business owner is inextricably tied to the business succession planning.

Marc: Those things are not disconnected. They’re one for that business owner, because ultimately, you’ve got to transfer the ownership to that next generation in order to get the value out of the business so that you can retire and you can go on to do other things.

Marc: So you’ve got to transfer the ownership. And then you’ve also got to transfer the abilities that you brought as an entrepreneur to build the business in the first place. And who’s that next person or next people that are going to both have the ability to take on the business responsibilities, run the day-to-day business, hopefully grow it, but also have the assets that enable them to purchase the business from the original owner at a fair valuation for both ends?

Marc: So that’s, I think, the biggest thing that you got to recognize that the valuation of the business is part and parcel of the value of the owner’s estate or net worth. And then they’ve got to have a plan, both on an operational standpoint and an asset purchase valuation standpoint, so that that next generation has the ability to pay what the business is worth. Those are the two, in my mind, really key components to an effective succession plan.

Gene: Fair enough. You mentioned valuation, and that’s always the number one question that comes up. I’m looking to sell my business and I want to know what I’m going to get for it. I know there’s an industry of independent appraisers that will come around and value a business. I know that.

Gene: I also know that across the board, we, as business owners, tend to overvalue our businesses, because we sometimes think that it’s worth more than it really is in reality. So before you get any outside professionals involved, Marc, what would you recommend?

Gene: How would you tell a client, just back of the envelope, how to value their business just to get an idea of what their entire value is like? And I know it’s going to involve their personal assets, like you said. So give me some advice on that.

Marc: Well, I think there are two really important components to an effective valuation. I think number one, there is obviously the asset liability, revenue, expense. What are the revenues coming in? What’s the expense load? What’s the margin? What’s the trend line over the last couple years? What are the future revenue obligations?

Marc: And I think most people get that. That there’s going to be… You’ve got to look at the assets and the value of the business from a dollars and cents standpoint. And I think again, there are lots of appraisals out there that do that really well. I think that the one that I always encourage people to really look at, which, again, goes back to the planning process, is on the operational value. Do you have an effective leadership team? Do you have core values?

Marc: Do you have a culture within your organization that goes beyond you, the successful entrepreneur that created this business in the first place? Because that’s a part where so much of the value attached to revenue and expenses are attached to the individual. Gene, you’re talented, so you have this ability to go out and convince people that your CPA firm is the best.

Marc: But if you are not a part of the business and you don’t have a culture and a successor that goes beyond you, as an individual entrepreneur, and you don’t have the operational rigor, then anyone who comes in is going to apply a discount to future revenues because Gene’s not, by definition, going to be there to help create those revenues. So I think the operational rigor is really important to factor into the valuation. And again, that’s an area where I don’t think people, business owners put enough time and energy into.

Gene: Yeah, it’s funny. One of my all-time favorite books is called The E-Myth, by Michael Gerber. I don’t know if you’ve ever read it or not, but it’s this classic book about small businesses. And his whole thing is how our businesses are not valued very well. Most small businesses have very little value.

Gene: And I’m guilty of that so much because his theory is that. And it’s very true, it speaks to what you were talking about. If you don’t have an operational structure and you don’t have an organization that the owner could just leave it for weeks or months at a time without it completely falling apart, then the organization really has no value.

Gene: Yeah. Maybe you can sell your inventory and your receivables, but nobody’s going to pay anything extra for your actual organization. And he was using the example of a McDonald’s franchise has incredible value because the manager can come and go. He can just get a new manager, but there’s processes and systems and things in place that anybody could buy that franchise and, boom, be running it the next day. And I think that’s what buyers really want.

Marc: Yeah. There’s just no question about it. And again, all of our strengths are our weaknesses. And the entrepreneurial spirit, the will to succeed, the drive, the passion that comes in that entrepreneurial founder, owner, is also their weakness in that a lot of times, what they’re not good at, is building organizational structures, being clear about decision-making authority and values and purpose.

Marc: And so that’s the part where oftentimes, an entrepreneurial founder, owner needs the most help. Somebody from the outside to really look at it and say, “Okay, before we even talk dollars and cents, do you have somebody here that either is capable or will be able, with development, capable of taking this business on after you? And do you have a key person that can take over? And what’s the plan, again, to transfer ownership and realize some of that valuation over a period of time, so that you get the maximum amount of your life’s work in return?”

Gene: Got it, got it. I have two more questions for you. And then let me turn things over to Jon. The first question has to do with advisors. Obviously, you’re a wealth management guy, so you can direct me that way.

Gene: Where do you fit into my team of advisors, and who should be on my team of advisors if I’m considering selling my business sometime in the next two to three years?

Marc: Yeah. I look at, what I would call, a financial security professional, which is… I think the tip of the spear, in my mind, is somebody… Again, let’s go back to the beginning, which is your retirement plan is connected to your business succession plan.

Marc: They’re not disconnected. Unless you’ve got a whole bunch of assets on the side, and this is just a fun thing that you do, the reality, Gene, and I’m sure it’s probably the case, your net worth is tied up into the business.

Gene: 100%, 100%.

Marc: We’ve got to find somebody who can help you with your personal planning. And somebody that comes to you like, “What’s the value of the business? Do you have an estate planning or estate tax potential challenge? What’s your plan and do you have kids? Do you have families? What’s that part of the plan?”

Marc: And then somebody with the expertise to really look at and say, “Okay, now do we have key people within the business? What’s the ownership structure? Should we look at something like an ESOP or should we do a buy/sell?”

Marc: And somebody that really looks at it holistically. I think wealth managers really look at how do you invest assets in a diversified way to grow those assets? This is a much more, in my mind, intimate plan, that’s connected with you, your family, your employees, their families.

Marc: And so the tip of the spear, in my mind, is a holistic financial advisor that understands businesses, understands business valuations, understands succession plans, understands life insurance and that can help with a holistic financial plan.

Marc: Obviously, there will be people who do valuations and accountants and perhaps trust officers, lawyers. There are going to be other advisors on the team. But in my mind, it really starts with a holistic financial advisor that can help Gene do the planning Gene needs to do, and the business planning to do the business.

Gene: Yeah, it’s funny. Boy, you’re going to hate me for saying this, but the analogy that I see is honestly like a general contractor for a building project.

Gene: You need that person that’s next to you that really sees the whole big picture, that’s experienced in doing this, that can provide you with the advice that you need. And then bring in the experts to do their specific jobs and oversee them. That’s the analogy that I see there.

Marc: The other piece of it is, it’s got to be somebody that the business owner trusts and has a relationship with like that, because you got to share intimate details about where you are in your life. So you got to have that trusted relationship with the general contractor, as you say.

Gene: Makes sense. Makes sense. All right. Last question. And then this really can transition over to Jon, who I know has questions on the buying side. But really, the question that I have for you… You’re out there right now, Marc, you’re seeing what the market is, you deal with a lot of clients that are looking to have a succession plan move on. Just give us an idea of what you see in the market. Do you see a lot of business owners? Is this a good time to sell right now is, I guess, my question?

Marc: We’re seeing a lot of activity, a lot of activity. Some of it’s driven by private equity. It depends on the size of the business, but there’s a lot of activity around buying, selling, valuations. So in my mind, it’s a pretty hot market. And so I think now is a really good time to take a look and develop a plan.

Gene: All right. Jon, up to you.

Jon: Awesome. Thanks, Gene. Thanks, Marc. Yeah. So I think my first question is probably really around timeline. So if you’re someone who has an end insight, in terms of when you want to be out of your business, when should you really start thinking about doing an assessment to figure out what are the steps you need to take?

Jon: And on average, how long does it really start to take to get set up to have a productive conversation or start that process of looking for an exit strategy?

Marc: So I think the process itself to develop a plan, which is separate than executing the plan… But that depends on the size of the business and the complication and the assets involved, and what are the margins within the business?

Marc: But on average, I would say, it’s a three to six-month process. It could be sooner. Again, it depends on if there are estate planning implications because that can take a little longer. But if it’s a pure succession plan, individual business owner plan, again, it’s not a one-and-done meeting.

Marc: There’s a bunch of things that have to connect to it. The minimum that I would say the timeline, if Gene’s 50-years-old, and he wants to retire at 60, he really needs to start that process in the next year or two.

Marc: The more time that you have, the more options you have. I would say a minimum of five-year transition period. Because again, when I talk to our members and their clients, what we see is that if you have the benefit of time, then you have the ability to gradually transition ownership to that next generation who has to buy out the founder, entrepreneur or business owner.

Marc: If they have more time, you can gradually transition that ownership stake over a period as part of a plan because a lot of times that next generation, that buyer, they don’t have a bunch of cash laying around that they can just give the business owner. So there’s got to be this transition process that five years or more is, I think, absolutely essential.

Jon: Yeah. It’s interesting that you say that. So I have a friend. We worked together years ago, and it was at a local restaurant. And she ended up entering a deal with an owner to take it over.

Jon: But it was a seven-year plan where, to your point, she didn’t have a ton saved up. He wanted top dollar for the business. So they worked out a deal where she pretty much agreed to a salary, and then any assumed increase or bonus went back into paying him back.

Jon: So he almost financed, plus took, to make his means meet. But when it comes to things like that, do you feel like most owners are aware of the options and think about the different ways they might have to build a successor, especially if it’s from within?

Jon: Because I think a lot of people feel like when they’re ready to sell their business, it’s almost like a house, “We’ll figure out how to essentially list it and we’ll find buyers,” where I think so much of it probably really does come from taking that time. Not only developing a plan, but the relationships and get someone ready to go.

Marc: There’s no doubt. I would say there’s a very, very, very small percentage of people who truly have a well-thought-out plan because so many of them are just working on their business.

Marc: There was an article published in 2021, by the Dayton Daily News. It said 75% of small businesses don’t have succession plans. And there’s other studies that somewhere between 60%, 70%, 80%.

Marc: And I think the expertise of a founder, entrepreneur or business owner is in the idea and in the execution and the creation of the business. There are very, very, very few, if any, that actually understand what it’s going to take to actually transfer that business and to get top to dollar for it. And how much time and energy, both on the financial side and on the operational side that it takes to really go through it, which is why most people don’t have one.

Marc: And I don’t think they have the capability of their experts and their idea. I don’t think they have the capability of developing that transition plan on their own. I think this is one of those things where Gene’s analogy on a general contractor, they need professional help.

Marc: If most of their net worth is embedded in this business, what they need to do is they need to get professional help to understand the options, understand the operational rigor that it’s going to take, understand a realistic timeline, identify a buyer, figure out how to get the assets transferred over time.

Marc: Seven years feels like that’s a well-thought-out glide path to success. So I don’t think most business owners have a clue, honestly, in terms of what it really takes to transfer their business.

Jon: Got it. And when do you find them coming to you for help? Mostly after they’ve tried and something didn’t work out, or they have to start from scratch?

Jon: What are some of the signals that you might be at a point where if this is an active thought, you need to reach out to someone, versus preparing? When do people often tend to course-correct or when should they?

Marc: I think that the lifecycle of an entrepreneur is there’s energy, excitement, vigor, passion, will on the front-end. There’s an execution phase and that middle end.

Marc: And I wouldn’t put a time horizon on it, but everybody’s different. You have an idea, you get it up and running. It works, you’ve got some money, you’re hiring people, you’re executing. And then there’s that back-end part of the timeline where entrepreneurs, they get tired and they’ve got a lot of pressures.

Marc: And the energy that brought them this idea that they started to execute, it just starts to weigh on them. And that’s the time where we find the most productive conversations take place is when you’ve got… Maybe it’s when they’re getting to 55 or 60, or maybe they’ve been doing it for a few years and they’ve got something that’s real, but they’re sort of tired.

Marc: And so that’s when I think the most productive conversations take place is when that entrepreneur is looking beyond just what’s the next sale, what’s the next opportunity? How do we maximize what we’re currently doing? And they start to reflect. And so that, in my mind, is when a professional, when they connect to them, is in the best situation.

Marc: The other dynamic is also when there’s a change in circumstances in the individual entrepreneur or owner’s personal life. Maybe there’s a divorce, or maybe there’s a death in the family, or maybe there’s challenge with children. And there’s an external stimulus from their personal life that just says, “Hey, I’m just not going to be able to continue to do this forever because I’ve got these other things that are really important to me.”

Marc: And that is also an area when there’s a stimulus that comes from the personal life, where we find that they’re in the best condition to really think about effective succession planning.

Jon: That’s interesting. And you mentioned a little bit around valuation before, and really thinking about that in terms of the brand strength and what the business can stand without the owner or that legacy attached.

Jon: Are there specific things or executional examples that you have found to be more valuable for owners to invest in? So I think about regular community involvement, or people that might have independent foundations, or things that might cement them more to a local community. Do you find that some of that is more helpful when you’re trying to package up the total value of the business?

Marc: Yeah. Again, I would go back to, I think, any sort of branding, that some of the community engagement comes down to what’s your organizational brand?

Marc: And that’s always helpful. But again, it’s a little bit of a double-edged sword because a lot of times that engagement in the community is tied up into the individual entrepreneur. And that organizational brand and the individual brand are so linked that it’s positive.

Marc: But if you remove that individual from the equation, it doesn’t have nearly the same level of organizational brand. So I do think the two most important things, from an evaluation standpoint, obviously revenue, expense, profit, loss; those kinds of things.

Marc: What is your profit and what’s the expense load in order to achieve that profit? But that operational rigor, leadership teams, cultures. Do you have a viable succession plan? How are you keeping and retaining key employees? What is the benefit package that you have to show that you may have the world’s greatest salesperson?

Marc: And that’s not a business owner and not a successor, but the best salesperson in the world. But then what’s your strategy to retain that salesperson beyond your life in the business? So I think that operational rigor still goes down to… That, for me, is the best thing that a business owner can invest in, in order to put themselves in a position to maximize their valuation.

Jon: And then my last question, probably, around the entry is really thinking about advice for the potential successor. So again, people not necessarily coming in with a checkbook and an investment model. How should current owners and potential successors think of contributions as they start to really iron out?

Jon: So absent cash value. If it is something where they’re working for equity, how should those conversations go? And what are some tips you might have on putting a value on earning rights over time, or as people grow into maybe eventually owning a piece of the business so they can eventually buy the whole thing out?

Marc: Yeah. And I think this is where the value of a plan… There’s a lot of creative ways to get at this. Like I mentioned, an employee stock ownership plan, or there’s lots of ways that you can transfer the value of the business over time with investments to the next generation that creates a win-win.

Marc: And also, it requires shared sacrifice. So many times, business owners, because they are, in many ways, the economic driver of the business, they get used to having a certain income, pulling off profits in order to sustain their lifestyle. And so again, I think you’ve got to take a longer term view of this shared sacrifice that creates win-win because there may need to be some additional compensation that’s paid to that next generation as part of a process to transfer assets.

Marc: And the business owner wins in the long run because they’ve gotten a greater valuation and they’ve gotten the next generation the ability for them to come in and actually have the cash that they need to buy the business owner out.

Marc: So that’s where I think there are a lot of different, very specific, opportunities, but because every business is different, the key, in my mind, is finding a professional, that general contractor to come in to help with the personal planning, to understand the business succession planning and really build those personal business plans together.

Marc: And that can be executed with the cashflow available and the assets etc. So I just can’t say enough. The importance of each one of these plans is different and you got to find somebody that you can trust and you can talk to that understands the entire picture in order to be successful.

Jon: Great. And then hitting on it a little bit, does there tend to be any other kind of benefits when you think about executing that over time in terms of maybe any tax implications or reducing opportunity costs or maybe avoiding other penalties you might not be thinking about?

Marc: Well, obviously capital gains and realization events. And the tax implications are really, really important. And if the basis in your business is relatively low, and now it’s worth a lot and then you’re going to sell it and you have to realize those gains and the income attached to it, there’s the tax consequences.

Marc: Again, particularly if our business is worth a couple million dollars or a million dollars, we don’t want to take all of that income in one year. And so we want to structure it in such a way where the tax implications are minimized over time. And again, that bears for really thoughtful, effective planning over time. And I think that’s another really important point that most people don’t factor in is what are the tax consequences to a sale? Really, really important.

Marc: And then obviously, depending on the size of the business, the estate tax is obviously… that is an element. It’s for larger… Right now, the individual exemptions are $11 million per person, 22 million bucks for a couple. Then there’s ability to give away assets over time as part of the lifetime gift exemption.

Marc: But those are bigger now. But look, as Gene knows, because he’s a CPA, the tax code on the individual side is all subject to be sunset at the end of 2025. And depending on who’s in charge and what their perspective is, that’ll depend on what happens with tax rates. So all of that stuff has to be tracked and has to be factored into a thoughtful succession plan. No doubt about it.

Jon: Great. Well, no, I think this has all been helpful advice, and it goes to show how much there is to think about and how long it can take to execute a well-thought-out plan that’s really going to be beneficial to you, as a business owner, and the person who’s coming in to take over your business. So Marc, I appreciate your insight there. And, Gene, any other questions you have?

Gene: Yeah. I have a thousand questions. But Marc, we got to bring you back. I have more questions on evaluation, more questions on documentation, more questions really from a buyer’s angle as well. But we are out of time. I just wanted to also thank you as well for joining us. Great information. And I would like to get you back on air, which we’ll be in contact with you. So thank you.

Marc: Listen guys, it’s a really, really important subject. Small businesses are important to the backbone of this country and this economy. And so anything that we can do to help small business owners in this important discussion, we’re here to do it. So thanks for having me.

Gene: I like it. I like it. Jon, you want to take us out?

Jon: Sounds good. Everyone, thank you for listening to another episode of Small Biz Ahead, your small business podcast presented by The Hartford. As always, we appreciate you tuning in. Jon Aidukonis, Gene Marks and Marc Cadin signing out.

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